While many like to talk about customer focus, Kalle puts it into practice across every area of the business. Listening carefully to customers and their individual needs is key to trigger further market uptake. With its clear growth strategy, Kalle is continuing this success on the international stage.
Creating custom sausage casings
Kalle offers much more than just a range of standard products. It takes its unique expertise in materials and sausage processing and applies it to the customer’s production process. Kalle knows which product will improve the quality of a given sausage. And it knows how to use the right sausage casing to increase production efficiency. This close interaction with the customer generates valuable insights for the R&D team at Kalle. Often, the result is a new product that is even better suited to the customer’s situation.
Understanding the consumer
Kalle works hard to understand the needs and expectations of consumers. Accordingly, it is creating new types of casing that meet the growing demand for healthier nutrition options. A prime example is its “clean-label” casings. These value-added products contain no preservatives, no artificial dyes and no allergens. Kalle is also catering for the rising number of vegans and vegetarians, as its casings can be used for all types of paste-like products such as cheese, tofu and seitan.
Expanding the product range
This strict focus on customer needs has allowed Kalle to create a product range that is unique within the industry – a range that caters for all types of sausage, for all processing methods and for all consumer markets. In addition, Kalle produces numerous non-casing products, including functional ingredients, i.e., aromas, essences and flavor components. This complementary range is enabling Kalle to establish itself as a full-service provider for the meat-processing industry and to expand its cooperation with existing customers. In addition to these functional food ingredients, Kalle sees particular potential for growth in value-added casings. It is therefore strengthening both these areas through a substantial investment in R&D.
Sponge cloths: from by-product to bestseller
Kalle’s extensive expertise in natural fibers and polymers has repeatedly given rise to product innovations that transcend the company’s core business. One example is the Kalle sponge cloth, which originally began life as an R&D by-product. Recognizing the potential, the company developed the product further. Today, Kalle is one of the world’s largest producers of sponge cloths, supplying a third of global demand. Typically used for cleaning, Kalle is constantly developing new applications for the cloth, be it in medicine, agriculture or automotive engineering – or as an evaporation medium in refrigeration technology.
Kalle uses its strong customer focus and innovative competence to drive the business forward. The potential for growth is particularly good in regions of the world where a rising standard of living is reflected in increased demand for protein-rich products. Specifically, Kalle is expanding heavily into the emerging markets of Eastern Europe, South America and Asia, as well as the world’s largest sausage market: North America.
Partnerships and acquisitions
Kalle pursues partnerships and acquisitions to strengthen its global presence and expand its product range. Over the past 15 years, Kalle has completed three important takeovers: Oskuda in 2000, Texda in 2002 and Jif-Pak in 2011. All three were rapidly integrated and have helped to accelerate growth. Kalle is constantly monitoring the market for potential new partners that will enable the company to boost its market position – both in its core business of sausage casings as well as in adjacent segments.